Bourdain at Les Halles?
Has anyone been to Les Halles recently? How much involvement does AB have with Les Halles since No Reservations not to mention his frequent guest spots on radio etc? Has anyone noticed a drop off (or, rise for that matter) in quality?
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Have to say I've been dining here for years (live in the area) and it's been consistently good. AB's involvement has dwindled to .... i'm assuming nothing at this point. the dude admits he rarely sees the inside of a kitchen these days.
If you're going to see him there, it'll probably be at the midtown location since he lives closer to it. Even then, the odds are very slim. I've seen him at a couple of restaurants but never at either Les Halles.
As for the food quality at Les Halles, it hasn't suffered from his absence. Let's face it, Anthony Bourdain's never claimed to be one of the world's top chefs. He was a professionally trained line cook who became famous because of a book. Les Halles serves basic French bistro food that's easy to prepare and very good if done right. The people at both Manhattan locations are doing their jobs. I recommend the blood sausage when you're there.
My family of four ate at the Park Avenue location about six weeks ago and we felt it was perfectly fine. Three orders of the steak-frites-salade and one onglet (with the shallot sauce) were very good. The onglet (cooked perfectly medium rare) was just as tasty as it was before the restaurant became famous, although the shallot sauce (on the side) was not -- a little too thick and too sweet. Frites were excellent, as always.
I also had the french onion soup, which was good, although not as good as at Artisanal. Based on that visit, the restaurant still fits the bill for a tasty brasserie-style meal, especially for steak frites.
Also, we had excellent service, although we arrived before the large dinner crowd settled in.
I haven't eaten at the downtown Les Halles in more than a year, mostly because the last two times I was there, I was disappointed in the food.